Culturally Responsive Teaching
(I was out of town for this lesson)
There are two huge resources that we as teachers have at our grasp. The first is the culturally knowledgeable members of the community who speak on behalf of the perspective and wisdom of the Alaska Native people. The second is our natural environment, where content meets context and teachers are able to lead their students to the application of learning through hands-on experience. I believe a great teacher uses both in abundance, unconstrained by the walls of the classroom. This removes the barrios of interdisciplinary subjects, different cultures, and creates a community where every student is included.
Lessons in our environment can bridge the gap between history and present day, technologies of the past, and new science of today. Having students perform experiments outside of the classroom gives them a context for learning they might not have. This also builds intrinsic motivation for students to learn-the environment in which we live is a part of all our cultures. One example of using our natural environment would be studying water qualities of different streams in Juneau. Water and the sources from which we receive this water are all relevant to our lives.